Organizations like AAA and the Foundation for Traffic Safety as well as the Automobile Association in Great Britain periodically commission studies on aggressive driving.
Why? Because aggressive driving is a major contributor to car accidents around the globe.
One such study researched incidents of violence that involved car accidents and the actual use of vehicles as weapons. Only the most violent incidents which resulted in a police report or newspaper article were studied in this particular survey (these events make up only a small number of the aggressive driving events actually occurring in the U.S.).
What this study found was that the majority of overtly aggressive drivers were young (18 to 26 years of age), under-educated males, often with criminal records. However, the study also found that a significant minority of these aggressive drivers were successful men and women with no history of crime, violence, or substance addiction. Emotional stress was found to be a major contributor to road violence in many of the cases studied.
Another study from the Automobile Association in Great Britain sought to find out what types of aggressive behavior drivers were encountering. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of the drivers surveyed reported that they had experienced at least one of the behaviors listed below:
- Aggressive tailgating
- Lights flashed at them because the other motorist was annoyed
- Aggressive or rude gestures
- Deliberately obstructed or prevented from moving their vehicle
- Verbal abuse
- Physically assaulted
The study then asked these same drivers about the aggressive behaviors they had displayed towards other drivers. Sixty percent (60%) admitted to one or more of the following behaviors:
- Flashed lights at another motorist because they were annoyed with them
- Gave aggressive or rude gestures
- Gave verbal abuse
- Aggressively tailgated another motorist
- Deliberately obstructed or prevented another from moving their vehicle
- Physically assaulted another motorist (one positive response)
70% of these events occurred during daylight and on major roads.
In addition to the results reported above, many of these studies have found that:
- Congested roads can cause these behaviors.
- Warm temperatures seem to bring an increase in car violence.
- The emotional state of a driver when they take the wheel can be a predictor of aggressive behavior.
- Drivers tend to evidence territorial behavior. This behavior can lead to dangerous aggressiveness.
Obviously, aggressive driving is a danger to all motorists – and contributes to car accidents in Connecticut and around the world.
What should you do if you encounter an aggressive driver in Connecticut? The AAA has these suggestions:
- Do not respond to the other driver. Avoid any escalation of the conflict.
- Avoid eye contact with the other driver or occupants.
- Be tolerant and forgiving. The other driver may be having a really bad day and be looking for a way to vent anger.
- Be sure to allow enough room around your vehicle so that you can pull out or around if someone approaches your vehicle.
- Do not get out of your vehicle – it offers protection.
- If necessary, contact 911 for assistance. If necessary, drive to a busy public place where there are witnesses, such as a hospital or fire station. Once there, use your horn to attract others’ attention if needed.
If you or a loved one are ever the victim of a car accident caused by an aggressive driver in Connecticut, it is important to gather all the information you can and then call a qualified Connecticut car accident lawyer. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled thousands of car accident cases in Connecticut over our more than 55 years serving the people of this state. Our car accident lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of car accident cases including:
- Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms” and much more (for more on our honors and awards, click here).